Gear we Like: Water Bottles (Round-up)

If there is one piece of advice that is applicable to anyone, anywhere, at any time, it is to “stay hydrated.” With something as precious and necessary to life, how do we go about carrying this elixir with us, since it is a crucial aspect to all we do and are?

More importantly, single-use plastic water bottles are harmful to the environment. Per advocacy group Beyond Plastics:

At least 15 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean each year; experts predict that there will be one pound of plastic in the ocean for every three pounds of fish by 2025 and that plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050 unless we change course soon.

One million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute. As of 2021, more than half a trillion plastic bottles will be sold annually. At best, less than 1/3 of all plastic bottles will be recycled. So by using a reusable water bottle, you could prevent an average of 156 plastic bottles annually.

Reusable water bottles are popular as they provide a necessary counterpoint to the pollution and waste created by single-use plastics. As a result, the reusable water bottle industry is booming, with the industry forecasted to be worth 11 Billion USD by 2030. Indeed, reusable water bottles are big business and there is no shortage of ways to go about carrying your water on the go.

Water bottles fall into 2 basic categories: Stainless steel, BPA-free plastics. Oh and glass and titanium, but we’ll get to that later.

Stainless Steel

First, let’s look at stainless steel bottles. Takeya, Kleen Kanteen, Contigo, S’well, Yeti, are all common names of stainless bottles. They take a pounding, and in case of the S’well the triple-walled construction makes temperature control for non-room temperature liquids easy.

Our Recommendation

Everyday use: Kleen Kanteen Reflect outfitted with the Sports Cap. Coming in at 27 oz (800ml), it has plenty of space, is durable, has a sleek design with a bamboo cap in the event you need to look bourgie at the coworking space. However, for out on the trail we highly recommend purchasing the extra sports cap and swapping out the bamboo cap.

Hot days, cold days: S’well bottles with triple-walled construction keep hot liquids hot for 24 hours and cold liquids cold for 48 hours. This bottle is best for off-trail or non-fitness scenarios. It is also great in the 9 oz for cold days on the playground to sip some coffee or tea. We speak from experience.

BPA-Free Plastic

Next let’s take a look at BPA-free bottles. Why BPA-free? Because no one needs to get poisoned by their water bottle. There are two ways to go in the BPA-free bottles. First, there are the camping models that include Nalgene and Camelback. These are all solid, go-to choices. Next, there’s another consideration not usually made: road cycling bottles. Large-ish volume, simple design, easy to clean, these are great when you want minimum fuss and are not so concerned with the durability of the bottle.

Our Recommendation

Daily Use: It’s hard to go wrong with a Nalgene Narrow Mouth Tritan Bottle. At 32 oz (946ml) it holds plenty of water and the narrow mouth means it won’t end up on your shirt. And the lack of fiddly parts make it easy to clean, which is extremely important in a water bottle. This model ends up in or attached to our bag the most of our expansive collection. There is also a 16 oz Ultra Light edition to use during your commute or while out in the city so as to not weigh your back down.

Outdoor use: When you are not going to see fresh water for some time, the Nalgene Wide Mouth Silo bottle is where it’s at. This giant comes in at 48 oz (1419 ml) and will see you through. We strongly recommend the Cap Cap adapter by Human Gear because the wide mouth is not forgiving when hands are unsteady. Or, make sure to wear your quick-wick shirt.

Fitness: Everyone makes fitness bottles, and they are easy to find on Amazon, or in sporting goods stores. They are pretty simple and thus not sexy. They also are not extremely durable, so this is not your best choice while camping, hiking, or anything where you think it might get banged up or squeezed. But leave it to the bicycle manufacturer Specialized to make fitness water bottles sexy. The Specialized Purist WaterGate 26 oz (769 ml) has plenty of space, an easy to open spout, and is made from easy to squeeze, BPA-free LDPE material. You get leak-free goodness and light weight, all at the same time. Even better, it has a silicone-dioxide coating on the inside to keep your water from tasting plasticy. Originally bought for our time on the open road, this bottle has been showing up in our ruck on a regular basis.

Other Brands

We have not tried any glass bottles, as we want to make sure our products are thoroughly durable. We would be remiss if we did not mention them, however. Contigo gets rave reviews. We also really want to try the Soma Double Wall Glass Tea and Coffee Cold Brew bottle because caffeine = life.

The Big Reveal

The pièce de résistance of our collection is this magnificent beast. The Snow Peak Titanium Saké Bottle is a single-walled construction made out of inert Titanium, so your saké (and anything else) remains perfectly free from outside influences. Weighing only 4.8 oz (136 g) and carrying 18.25 oz (539 ml) it makes carrying water effortlessly chic. Pro-tip: Insert a unmodified, used champagne cork in lieu of the provided cap, and the style points go off the charts. Those who know, know.

No matter where you go, your water bottle matters. Just like your EDC items, your favorite SAK, your talisman, and your phone, your water bottle should be your constant companion in life. Choose wisely and often.

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Gear we like